Spinach/Palak is very healthy. But, there are only so many times you can make Dal Palak. So, We try to add it to our day to day food in soups (check out Lulu's Spinach soup) or dishes like Palak Paratha, Palak Paneer, Aloo Palak, Spinach rice, Spinach raita etc. Some people add it in dosas or adais and some like me, even add it to Omelettes. When we saw paneer in Indian store and when Bee asked if I want to buy them, I decide to try my 'Palak Paneer' recipe on him.
Many of the typical Palak Paneer recipes aren't very healthy. They require us to fry the paneer in oil and add cream or a big dollop of butter to make the sauce thicker and richer. And as I mention in most of my recipes, I'm not a big fan of rich creamy food. No, I don't make a fuss at family gatherings or get-together with friends, but when given a choice, I prefer simple food. And no, I will not compromise on the taste. After a few trial and errors and also using a few tips I learnt from Shwetha (a volunteer friend of mine), I arrived at this following recipe. I've tried it on many friends and have received compliments and requests for this simple recipe. Simplicity works! I'm not a big fan of Paneer. So, Bee gets to eat extra Paneer, when I make this dish and he enjoys it. :) I love this dish (Yep, even without the Paneer part) and I hope you like it, too.
Spinach - 1 big bunch (I used half a packet of organic spinach)
Paneer - 2 oz (storebought or homemade)
Whole Green gram dal - 2-3 tbsp (soaked in water for 4-6 hrs)
Green chillies - 3
Garlic - 2 cloves
Cummin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Olive oil - 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp (former to brown the paneer cubes, later for seasoning)
Salt to taste
Heat oil and roast the cummin seeds. Add the garlic and green chillies and saute for a few mins.. Add palak and green gram and add a cup of water and pressure cook for a whistle or two. Let this cool down. Blend to a fine paste using a blender.
Heat oil in the kadai and brown the paneer pieces, till they reach a golden brown color. Add the blended paste to this and add salt. Let it cook together for a few minutes. Serve it with hot rotis, phulkas or parathas. I served mine with parathas and the dinner was well received.
1. You can add moong sprouts, instead of soaked moon, for more nutrition.
2. You can use roasted potatoes instead of paneer and call this Aloo Palak or Saagwale Aloo.